Dental Hygienists

Dentistry Today

Many of the factual points Dr. Michael Davis made in his August 19 article, “Dental Hygienists Face Temp Employment Difficulties,” are well taken. But I believe that the outlook for the dental hygiene profession, viewed holistically from the national perspective, is not as dire as depicted. In addition, respectfully, some of the language used to describe the challenges to dental hygienists is quite strong in the absence of citations…

…Dental support organizations (DSOs) also offer opportunities for dental hygienists that may not exist in a traditional dental hygiene position in a private practice dental office. They allow for career growth beyond clinical practice for those who want to pursue a role in administration, for example. According to the Oral Health Workforce Research Center at the SUNY Albany School of Public Health, DSOs are attractive to dental hygienists who desire employee benefits such as health insurance and retirement plans.

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Naszemiasto, Bialystok News

(Translated to English) Researchers from SUNY University at Albany Center for Health Workforce Studies (CHWS) point out that increasing the professional competence of dental hygienists will translate into increased oral health throughout the community. Persons practicing such professions should be able to perform a wider range of oral hygiene.

In spite of the fact that dental hygienists occupy a largely independent workplace, specific procedures can only be performed on an order and under the supervision of a dentist. Not in all European countries, just like in Poland. Research has shown that the wider the range of dental hygienists the wider the country, the lower the incidence of caries and periodontal disease.

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Dimensions of Dental Hygiene

ALBANY, N.Y. (July 21, 2017) — Oral health workforce researchers at University at Albany’s Center for Health Workforce Studies (CHWS) have released an infographic designed to help policy makers better understand differences in dental hygiene scopes of practice across states. 

Scopes of practice for health professionals are defined in states’ laws and regulations, describing allowable services, settings and supervisory requirements. CHWS researchers examined 2014 scope-of-practice parameters for dental hygienists across the 50 states and found that that in states where dental hygiene scope of practice rules were more closely aligned with dental hygiene professional competence, there was a positive and statistically significant association with population oral health.

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The American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA) is pleased that Health Affairs recognizes the enormous impact oral health has on the overall public health system in the U.S. by devoting an entire issue to the subject. ADHA has long advocated evidence-based oral health management strategies for the prevention of oral and systemic diseases.

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